Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tree Genetics Unlocked, Giving New Hope For Pine Beetle Defense

Date:
January 17, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have discovered some of the genetic secrets that enable pine and spruce trees to fight off pests and disease, uncovering critical new information about forests' natural defense systems.

UBC researchers have discovered some of the genetic secrets that enable pine and spruce trees to fight off pests and disease, uncovering critical new information about forests' natural defense systems.

Related Articles


Assoc. Prof. Joerg Bohlmann says this genetic analysis will allow forest stewardship programs to reinforce a forest's inherent strength, breeding trees that could in time repel insects such as British Columbia's notorious mountain pine beetles.

Bohlmann and his research associate Christopher Keeling explored the genetic makeup of oleoresin within spruce, discovering a sophisticated ability to produce complex blends of chemicals that continuously evolve to protect the tree from changing conditions and challenges.

"Conifers are some of the oldest and longest living plants on the planet," says Bohlmann. "We've opened the book to understanding how they can survive in one location for thousands of years despite attacks from generations of insects and diseases."

Their study examines the molecular biochemistry of conifers interacting with genomes of bark beetles and bark beetle-associated fungal pathogens. Bohlmann's study appears in today's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Figuring out how these naturally occurring defenses work has important implications for the long-term sustainability and health of our forests," says Bohlmann, who's working with the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, the forestry industry and the Canadian Forest Service.

Bohlmann is also co-leader of the recently announced $4-million project that Genome BC and Genome Alberta is funding to investigate the mountain pine beetle infestation at the genomic level.

Insect pests and pathogens cause annual losses of billions of dollars to conifer-based forest economies in North America and Europe. In B.C., the mountain pine beetle epidemic has killed about 40 per cent of the pine forests since its first appearance in the mid 1990s.

This is the largest recorded bark beetle outbreak in Canada, leaving B.C. with 13 million hectares of grey and red dead pine -- an area four times the size of Vancouver Island and a volume of dead timber equivalent to 530 million telephone poles.

Bohlmann is leading UBC's and international research programs on forest health genomics. In 2006, Bohlmann and a team of international scientists completed the world's first physical map and sequencing of a tree genome -- the third plant ever sequenced.

He is based at UBC's Michael Smith Laboratories, a multidisciplinary research facility. Bohlmann also holds teaching appointments in the departments of Botany and Forest Sciences and is an associate at UBC's Wine Research Centre.

Bohlmann and study co-authors are members of the Treenomix project, Canada's first large-scale forestry genome project. Their work received support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Genome BC and Genome Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Tree Genetics Unlocked, Giving New Hope For Pine Beetle Defense." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114173858.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, January 17). Tree Genetics Unlocked, Giving New Hope For Pine Beetle Defense. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114173858.htm
University of British Columbia. "Tree Genetics Unlocked, Giving New Hope For Pine Beetle Defense." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114173858.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins